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Do you believe in magic? Whether you suspend disbelief or quickly Google “rabbit hat trick secret” during a magic show, there is something mystical about HR. Well, not really, but I needed something to tie into the fact that one of the keynote speakers at SuccessConnect next week is the one and only Magic Johnson! So while I get ready to set up the ASUG booth and prepare for our big announcement: Pick a card, any card, and check out ASUG’s HR Community.


SuccessConnect – Only a week remains until SuccessConnect in Las Vegas! Registration is still open, so bippity-boppity-buy a ticket and learn the tricks of the trade from other SAP® SuccessFactors® experts. Don’t forget to stop by the ASUG booth to learn more about our magical announcement and go hands-on with our new… well, you’ll see.


Discussion – Insurance Coverage – Some people may think magic is just for kids, but we can all agree that health insurance coverage should be for all ages. In this discussion, one of our users finds that changing coverage based on an employee’s age isn’t as simple as waving a magic wand. Any tech or HR wizards out there who can help?


Discussion – Statutory Holiday Pay in Canada – For my next act, I will take all of your vacation pay and make it disappear! No? Not funny? Agreed. Help our members across the northern border so that their employees’ vacation time doesn’t pull a Houdini. What are the minimum requirements for paid holidays in Canadian provinces? How do you configure your HR system to accommodate? Come share your tricks of the trade.


Employee Central Payroll versus On-Premise Payroll: Key Differences and Tips for Success – Levitation is an incredibly popular magic technique. The visual effect of someone floating even just a few inches above the ground is incredibly novel. While I am no magician (or am I?), I can imagine you could use mirrors, tethers, or even CGI for the levitation effect. Payroll is similar―with SAP, it often looks the same, but the platforms and processes behind it can be worlds apart. Tune into this webcast on how to succeed with both Employee Central Payroll and On-Premise Payroll. This webcast is no illusion: real life lessons are behind these tips.


Right before your eyes, I turned a cheesy magic analogy into yet another comprehensive HR overview. I implore you to keep your eye on all things SuccessConnect and ASUG. Big things are coming next week, so step right up and enjoy the show.




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How will you lead your organization into the future? Or is where you're at today good enough for your business? That's what I thought. We all need to start re-educating, retraining, rethinking about HR. Our recent HR research reveals the need:


"It’s clear that before embarking on change, organizations need a reliable foundational understanding of what they currently have. They must be able to create and query accurate real-time data on their staff to make predictions and engage in what-if analysis.  Ultimately, firms need to be able to build up a complete picture of an individual worker, their abilities, their education and training, and what they contribute to the company as a whole."

- China Martens, ASUG Research Analyst

ASUG's HR Community is focused on educating our members to meet the needs of your organization. One of the foremost set of critical skills required -- but that HR seems to be avoiding -- is analytics. STOP AVOIDING. Come to our Workforce Analytics Forum September 20-21, 2016 at SAP SuccessFactors' headquarters in San Francisco. Join experts from the industry and other HR and HRIT colleagues who are struggling -- just like you - to find the answers. We in HR need to be part of our businesses' solutions. Technology alone is not the answer. WE need to understand the problems that need to be solved and how to apply real data, facts and prediction to the solutions.

Register now.



I am notorious around ASUG Chicago for my sweet tooth. I’m first in line for birthday cake, I’ll always choose a cinnamon roll over a wheat bagel or piece of fruit, and I may just be the reason our Executive Assistant locks up her candy jar at night. Luckily, a good toothbrush and a relatively consistent running routine help mitigate the disgusting amounts of sugar I consume. Still, the (Milky)way to my heart will always be through candy and cocoa. It should come as no surprise that any HR article with “chocolate” in the opening line would catch my immediate interest. Learn more about how to get some free chocolate and find more sweet content on ASUG’s HR Community. Just don’t Snicker at my Mounds of puns.


Writing Your Way to Analytical Heaven – “Chocolate is essential to the production of effective people data analytics.” What an opening line. While I came for the sweetness of this post, I stayed for the wealth of information on the truths and fallacies of the fourth industrial workforce. Like one of those 5 lb novelty candy bars, however, this post can’t be finished without some help. Take a bite of this discussion and share your perspective. Plus, anyone who responds will get some free chocolate.


SAP® SuccessFactors® Q3 2016 Business Update/Release Highlights – When I was younger, I had a friend whose mom worked for a major candy manufacturer, so he always had treats that hadn’t even hit the shelves yet. I was always a little jealous, but now I have the last laugh as I get my hands on info about upcoming SAP SuccessFactors updates before they go live. I don’t need to be the envy of the HR community, however, as you can all tune in and see what’s cooking in the proverbial confectionary oven.


SuccessConnect – I am excited for SuccessConnect like Charlie was excited to visit Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Luckily, you don’t need a golden ticket to explore the latest and greatest in SAP SuccessFactors functionality. Register now for the event and you can expect to see some very sweet ASUG announcements. Just please take care not to fall into the river at the Venetian in Las Vegas, Augustus Gloop-style.


2016 ASUG HR & Payroll Canada Summit – I don’t want all you Smarties up north to be salty, because Werther … ahem, whether you are in the US or Canada, there are Red Hot events for you to attend. You don’t have to pay 100 grand for this event―it’s complimentary for all ASUG members. With four education tracks and an exclusive Pre-Conference Seminar, this is an event you donut want to miss.


I hope all of these candied callouts didn’t make you nauseous or give you cavities. (Gummy) bear with me as I prep for SuccessConnect and blog the weeks away. Have a great weekend and be sure to check out all of the delectable content on ASUG’s HR Community.



Image courtesy of Warner Bros.



Tonight marks the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio! I’m not the most sports-savvy guy (aside from the occasional run along Lake Michigan), but the excitement surrounding the Olympics always captivates me. Really, the Olympics are a lot like human resources… I’m joking, that’s more of a stretch than the one Usain Bolt does before the 100-meter dash. There is a lot happening in ASUG’s HR Community, however, so read ahead and enjoy a nice recap of all things HR with some Maracanã Stadium-sized Olympic references.


Writing Your Way to Analytical Heaven – True or false: Curling was a Summer Olympic sport until 1966, when it was transferred to the winter games. False. While this may have been an obvious question, HR Community Advocate Sherryanne Meyer has some much more interesting conundrums for you to mull over. Hurdle over to her post to see more!


SAP® SuccessFactors® User Group – Workforce Analytics Potluck – There is no qualifying round for this webcast; members and non-members alike are invited to participate. Knowledge-sharing and Influence opportunities are the focus of this potluck, so come prepared with questions and input.


Understanding SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll – Not all data and decisions are black and white. Sometimes we need to revisit the footage to see exactly who reached the finish line first or if a gymnast truly stuck that landing. Audits are necessary, especially in HR, to ensure that things are what they seem to be. Luckily, SAP Employee Central Payroll has functionality that lets you build data checks directly into the process. Register now and find your photo finish.


SAP SuccessFactors Q3 2016 Business Update/Release Highlights – Hear directly from the experts about the updates and changes coming to SAP SuccessFactors. If SAP SuccessFactors knowledge was a sport, then David Ludlow, Global Vice President of Line of Business Solutions for HR at SAP and SAP SuccessFactors, would take home the gold. Join him on the victors’ stand and learn about the latest and greatest in HR.


SuccessConnect – Just a few weeks remain until SuccessConnect 2016 in Las Vegas! Join the arena of HR professionals and experts for knowledge and networking. Word on the street is that ASUG will be carrying its torch to the conference to ignite a cool new tool, so register now!


I hope you enjoyed this week’s recap. Now it’s time to google “How to score in water polo”, “Do they play football in the Olympics?”, and “What is football called in South America” before the opening ceremonies!


Image courtesy of

True or false?

Chocolate is essential to the production of effective people data analytics.


Photo courtesy of Migeul Garces, FLICKR, eating-chocolate.jpg

Trick question.

The answer is highly dependent upon who you ask.

(If you're asking me for analytics, then, yes, definitely, the consumption of chocolate will be imperative.)

Now that I have my chocolate, let's indulge in some more realistic true and false dialogs.

  1. True or False: Data cleansing is essential before you embark on any type of people analytics project.
  2. True or False: Creating an analysis of a single department's turnover rate is a waste of time because it will not lead to a full people analytics program.
  3. True or False: Risk of exposing HR data may prevent or complicate the ability of HR to make an impact in people analytics.
  4. True or False: I need to invest in new software and reporting tools and staff and train my organization for Workforce Analytics.

Ready? Here's your answer key.


  1. False. Don't wait for your data to be perfect - just start analyzing what you have. If you wait for everything to be perfectly cleansed, you may never get started.
  2. False. Start small with one example that can demonstrate proof of value. Here's a key thing you'll learn: how to identify a business challenge that needs data input to solve and how to define the requirements of data needed to address the issue. Focus on understanding what data will support that one issue and what you need to know about that data to contribute value to the discussion.
  3. False. The answers HR can contribute to the business are not necessarily within the HR database. Expand your view to the business data: sales, production, locations, peak times, slow times, geographic demand etc. Understand the business and then apply HR expertise to contribute solutions.
  4. False. The most important thing for HR to do to really delve into people analytics is to find the data and analyze it -- any way you can. That's right: use any tool currently at your disposable even if it's Excel.


I'm interested in your results - and your thoughts on this. If people analytics is key to our success in the fourth industrial workforce, then let's get this discussion out there in the open. I'm committed to our success as HR leaders!?  Are you? 

A complimentary chocolate bar to members who answer this post.


I'm not kidding.